While many people may consider Thanksgiving a holiday about being grateful, and I guess, family and love, it is not. Thanksgiving is about the food. In honor of the polygamous marriage between the NFL, fantasy football and Thanksgiving, we breakdown which Thanksgiving dishes should you Start and Sit.
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We are a country that celebrates competitive eating every 4th of July. A nation that ranks as the fattest among first-world countries. Thanksgiving is the time for all of us to let our inner-Joey Chestnut emerge like that creature bursting out of that dude's chest in Aliens (casual 80s reference).
Thanksgiving brings the two of our nation's unofficial past times to the forefront of our social landscape: eating and football. Much like the NFL, not all Thanksgiving dishes are created equally. So while you create your lineups for this Thursday's fantasy football slate, be sure to also know which Thanksgiving dishes to make, eat and come back for leftovers.
Stuffing or Dressing
Somewhere along the timeline of Thanksgiving being an eater's holiday, a discussion arose on the technicality of what is stuffing and what is dressing. I'm here first to clear that up. I don't care if you are from the South, West, or Pacific Islands, dressing is what you put on a salad or the decorations on a window sill, stuffing is the bread-like substance you eat on Thanksgiving. Stuffing is the GOAT of Thanksgiving. It is basically this season's Patrick Mahomes, but every year.
Just as you should start Mahomes every week in fantasy football, stuffing should be the first thing you put on your plate every Thanksgiving. Pile that on, even if you don't plan on eating it. Do you want to know why? Because unlike other dishes, stuffing is good every single minute of every single day. It doesn't dry out, it doesn't lose its flavor. Stuffing cooked the right way is like heaven in your mouth. I like to take a little stuffing and put it on my bedside table on Thanksgiving night, for a little pre-dawn snack. Scientists have proven the more stuffing you eat, the closer you are to immortality. These are facts. (not really.)
Yes, I put desserts as an all-encompassing category. It doesn't matter whether you like pies, cakes, brownies, or all of the above, desserts are an important piece to any Thanksgiving meal. People forget that.
A common amateur mistake is to pile your plate with too much side dishes, get full and you leave no room for dessert. YOU ALWAYS LEAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT. Think of it as streaming a defense every week. Not everyone does it, most fantasy football players overlook it, but the one's who do employ the strategy are better for it. Desserts should never be left out of the equation.
(caveat: an alternative strategy to a Thanksgiving meal is to load up on the first go around, then hit the desserts once you put the sweat pants on and go for round three. This is an elder statesman move and takes years to master. Do not try this without the proper practice.)
Mac & Cheese
If you have an issue with Mac & Cheese, please kindly step to left and keep moving until you step clearly into the ocean and out of my peripheral. God invented Macaroni and Cheese to be combined and rarely do these two need to be separated. There are some exceptions, but they are rare and fall a far second behind the superior Mac & Cheese.
Most people underestimate kids because they're small, soil themselves without moving a muscle, and are not seasoned on the ways of the world. The truth is kids are brilliant, and the case and point is there's not one kid who doesn't love Mac & Cheese (unless they are gluten or lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, and in that case, they have a lot more things to worry about in life, honestly.).
Basically, Mac & Cheese is Ben Roethlisberger. Years of consistency make it a trusted go-to, but choosing the dish away from the friendly confines of your own kitchen is a risky proposition.
Each Thanksgiving, someone makes the secret family dish. The recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation is lifted from its bulletproof protective case and handled with care to bring forth smiles and satisfied customers annually. One mistake, or one error in judgement, however, and things can go wrong very quickly.
The Family Recipe is an up-and-down roller coaster that when done right is unbeatable. Done wrong, however, and you might get booted from the house. Your Family Recipe is essentially Blake Bortles.
If you put more than a couple slices of turkey on your plate, you should be committed to a mental institution to protect you from inflicting further harm on yourself. I don't care if the turkey is fried, baked, broiled, or you are at an Emeril Lagasse party and he's making the bird himself. Turkeys are bland, overvalued and a waste of prime real estate. The only thing a Turkey is good for is for the head of household to carve the turkey and then to find the wishbone and break it. That's it. I'm not proud of it, but as a parent, I give my kids all the turkey, because they eat anything, and save the good stuff for me. The only good thing about turkey is piling stuffing on top of it for a post-thanksgiving leftover sandwich.
Thanksgiving turkey is so bad, they needed to add several thousand different dishes to serve with it. Turkey on Thanksgiving is so terrible, each year new dishes are created with the hope of bribing you to choke down a dozen pounds of unappetizing meat, that served solely on its own, would cause your mouth to go on a hunger strike. Thanksgiving turkey makes me want to become a vegetarian.
You want an apt comparison of Turkey as a fantasy football commodity. Look no further than Tom Brady. Yeah, I said it.
Cranberry concoctions are nothing more than fancy jello. Except the jello is bitter, and usually has a vinegar aftertaste and furthermore, just makes you wish it was in fact, actually jello. Cranberry sauce is the Leonard Fournette of Thanksgiving dinner.
You think it's a coincidence that there is a romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak during Thanksgiving week? Even nature is disgusted by those who force greens on the American public on Thanksgiving. We have 364 days to eat healthy, or at least the option to eat healthy. Let us be overtly slovenly once a year. If you must have green, make it a green bean casserole with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese and cream that will clog your arteries for at least a half-hour. That's the only exception.
If you show up to a Thanksgiving dinner with greens, you should be forced to sit at the kiddie table and force feed all the children your green contribution for the entirety of the evening.
Green stuff on Thanksgiving is like Eli Manning. They both have their time and space, and the parts around them are much better than them on their own. Much like the E. coli scare, Manning is a general threat to your wellbeing. Stay Clear![divider]
For many Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. A time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other's company. It's one of the few occasions where no gifts are exchanged, no expectations, just a happy and healthy love of people, and food, don't forget the food. So this year, do yourself a favor, and those with whom you will be spending quality time. Put as much time and effort into what side dishes you will Start and Sit as you do your fantasy football roster…and if you bring greens, I swear to great Odin himself, may he strike you down with a thousand bolts of lightning.